PORTLAND — Staffers from the Milestone Foundation were scrambling tonight to find as many clients as possible on city streets before temperatures started to fall below freezing.

“I’m not exaggerating when I say that someone could die tonight,” said Tom Allan, executive director of Milestone Foundation, as he waited inside the Preble Street Resource Center.

Milestone is an emergency shelter and detox program for alcoholic and drug-addicted adults.

The India Street shelter was forced to dramatically reduce the number of beds it provides by Nov. 1 or face losing its federal Medicaid reimbursements.

As a interim solution, Allan said 41 emergency shelter beds had to be relocated to the Preble Street Resource Center.

Allan said a more effective long term solution will need to be found.